Category Archives: Cryptopia

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Cryptopia Goes Live with Pre-Hack User Balances Held

Cryptopia Goes Live with Pre-Hack User Balances Held

Troubled New Zealand exchange Cryptopia has relaunched its website, albeit in a read-only format, and has also restored user balances to the pre-hacked state. The initial relaunch date was announced last week on 4 March, but Cryptopia had to delay the relaunch for technical reasons.

Update: The read-only site is now live. The holding balance from the 14th Jan is pre hack and we will be using these holdings as a baseline for calculating rebates moving forwards.

— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) March 5, 2019

Reeling from the USD 16 million hack back in mid-January, crypto exchange Cryptopia has been closed for all visitors and in maintenance mode for nearly two months. The New Zealand Police department reported that the cryptocurrency exchange was ready to resume operations on 13 February. However, soon after that, Cryptopia admitted that it was not prepared to resume trading until they can fully assess their losses, investigate the hack, and ensure that necessary steps are taken to avoid any mishaps in the future.

In another series of Tweets, Cryptopia confirmed that they would be using the customer balance state as of 14 January to further calculate the rebates.

Although only minimal details are currently available, the exchange reported that they would be finalizing a rebate and compensation process for the users affected by the fiasco. For now, all Cryptopia users have been advised to reset their passwords and employ two-factor authentication credentials.

According to reports by New York-headquartered boutique firm Elementus on the severity of the attack, over USD 16 million worth of Ether and ERC20 tokens were stolen by the hackers. That included USD 2.446 million in Dentacoin, USD 3.57 million in ETH, USD 1.948 million in Oyster Pearl, and other prominent tokens such as Sirin Labs, ZRX, TrueUSD, OmiseGO, and Augur’s REP.

The initial reports of the hack emerged in the middle of January but investigations revealed that hackers were still siphoning out crypto from the exchange even two weeks later. The company didn’t announce the date when it would completely reopen its services, but did report that about 24% of all wallets had been moved to new secure servers.

 

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Cryptopia Gets Green Light to Reopen After Hacking

Cryptopia Gets Green Light to Reopen After Hacking

New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia, which was hacked almost exactly a month ago, has been given the green light to reopen as local police wind up their inquiries.

Cryptopia has over 2 million global users and offers trading for one of the world’s largest range of cryptocurrencies. January’s hacking resulted in the loss of some $USD 6 million worth of cryptocurrency which warranted the company notifying its users that it had “suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses”.

The body investigating the breach, New Zealand’s High Tech Crime Group, have indicated that although the exchange if free to open, some of its team will be remaining on site to complete their investigations. The police have not expressed any indication of laying any charges at this stage.

Experts from data company Elementus believe the stolen cryptocurrency could amount to USD 23 million dollars which comprise Ether and ERC20 tokens, and reports indicate that the attack could have even continued even after the investigators arrived on the scene in January.

Cryptopia surprised New Zealand’s crypto and banking community at the end of last year when it announced that it had plans to relaunch the New Zealand dollar stablecoin (NZDT) in Q1 2019. The NZDT was originally launched in 2017, with daily trading volume rallying to NZD 1 million per day. This spooked ASB, the bank that Cryptopia was working with, since proper know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws were not in place. Fortunately, the orderly termination of the NZDT stablecoin gave customers a month to convert their tokens back to NZD.

Despite the green light, Cryptopia founders Adam Clark and Rob Dawson have not indicated exactly when they plan to resume services for its huge customer base.

 

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Ledger: Market Still Here for Hardware Wallets

Ledger: Market Still Here for Hardware Wallets

Eric Larchevêque, CEO of French hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, has said that he is optimistic for the future of the cryptocurrency industry, as he prepares for “a whole new generation of consumers”.

However, Larchevêque claims that education is still an area of concern when it comes to storage of cryptocurrencies, and many users fall short of protecting their funds adequately. Referring to the Cryptopia hack and various other losses in 2018 which amounted to almost USD 1 billion, Ledger’s CEO believes that people still don’t know how to protect their funds.

Speaking about the current volatile situation on the streets of some of France’s major cities in protest of current government moves to regulate industry working guidelines, Larchevêque said that the media had really hyped up the Bitcoin factor:

“I think that this call to take the money out of the banks and the protester with the ‘Buy Bitcoin’ sign is something that’s been exaggerated a lot by the media… The yellow vests do not really know about Bitcoin and they do not really think that cryptocurrency will solve their problems.”

He says that France is still not at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption but government regulations are at least moving in the right direction. As for his own company, he admits that the bear market has impacted on product sales, but due to the cyclic history of cryptocurrency the company has simply scaled down ahead of the next bull market.

Given that Black Friday sales of the Nano S in November 2018 were almost on a par with 2017, the CEO admits that “the situation is still quite good”. He adds, “There is still a need for a new generation of hardware wallet and consumers are still ready to invest and buy new products. The market is still here.”

 

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Cryptopia Relaunching New Zealand Dollar Stablecoin

Cryptopia has announced that it is relaunching the New Zealand Dollar stablecoin (NZDT) in Q1 2019. The exchange has a daily trading volume in excess of USD 2 million and has been a hub of altcoin trading and mining activity since it launched in 2014.

The NZDT was originally launched in 2017, with daily trading volume rallying to NZD 1 million per day. This spooked ASB, the bank that Cryptopia was working with, since proper know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws were not in place. Fortunately, the orderly termination of the NZDT stablecoin gave customers a month to convert their NZDT back to NZD.

Apparently, Cryptopia has now secured a bank account with an undisclosed bank and is in talks with government regulators to make sure the NZDT is not abruptly terminated again. Regulators are reportedly favorable towards the stablecoin.

It is difficult for New Zealander cryptocurrency traders to enter the crypto space. Fees are high and it takes days to deposit NZD into an offshore exchange. Campbell Pentney from the Bell Gully law firm said, “Let’s assume blockchain takes off and has amazing projects all over the world. Without an NZ dollar entry point, New Zealanders will find it hard to invest in these projects directly. Because getting money from your bank here into one of these cross-border exchanges takes days and involves big fees.”

This is why the NZDT became so popular. The process is relatively quick and the fees are lower than when sending fiat to an offshore exchange. The NZDT allows New Zealanders to buy cryptocurrency worldwide on any exchange that integrates the wallet.

Pentney said, “Not having them [a New Zealand Dollar stablecoin] matters hugely. It was going great guns, growing massively fast, and then suddenly there was no banking access. People are saying: ‘how do I buy Bitcoin?’”

Currently, there are only a few cryptocurrency exchanges in New Zealand that accept NZD deposits directly but their volumes are low and the lack of liquidity is not optimal for trading.

 

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Developers Rake in Million-Dollar Sweeteners Despite Slump

Despite slumping bitcoin prices in 2018, the cryptocurrency space has continued to see a huge development in a market lacking top-level expertise, according to an interview in the Wall Street Journal.

Ripple chief cryptographer David Schwartz pointed out that one developer on his team had recently received two USD 1 million signing bonus offers, one from a crypto startup and the other from a blockchain tech company headhunting for blockchain expertise, according to Business Insider.

According to Finder.au, 4,500 job openings with the terms “blockchain”, “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” in the title have been posted on LinkedIn this year, an increase up to May of this year of 151%  over 2017. This compared to 2016 when only 645 openings were posted.

The eye-watering signing bonuses for crypto and blockchain developers with just a few years of experience is unusual in any tech company, despite bonus schemes being the norm with top tech companies, according to recent TeamBlind figures. Its survey revealed that 67% of tech companies questioned received a bonus but only 11% received an amount over USD 100,000.

One of the reasons for the spike in bonuses was due to a surge in demand in December 2017, prompting exchanges to scale up their operations in order to meet customer demand, particularly as the funds were readi